Ranjitsinh Disale, a primary school teacher from Paritewadi village in Maharashtra's Solapur district has been named the winner of the $1-million annual Global Teacher Prize 2020 in recognition of his efforts to promote girls' education and trigger a quick-response (QR) coded textbook revolution in India.
The 32-year-old teacher was selected from over 12,000 nominations and applications from over 140 countries around the world for the annual prize founded by the Varkey Foundation in 2014 to recognise an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.
After winning the prize, Disale announced that he would share half the prize money with his fellow Top-10 finalists. This is the first time in the Global Teacher Prize’s six-year history that the overall winner has shared the prize money with other finalists.
Here is the journey of Ranjitsinh Disale:
The journey of Ranjitsinh Disale began in 2009 when he first arrived at the Zilla Parishad Primary School. The school was a dilapidated building between a cattle shed and a storeroom. Soon Disale observed that in the school, where most of the girls were from tribal communities, attendance could sometimes be as low as 2 percent and teenage marriage was common. Also, the curriculum was not in their primary language (Kannada), leaving many students unable to learn at all.
Looking all this, Disale tried to improve the condition. He translated the class textbooks into the mother tongue of students but also embedded them with unique QR codes to give students access to audio poems, video lectures, stories and assignments. He further upgraded the QR Coded Textbooks with immersive reader and Flipgrid tools to aid girls with special needs.
Besides education, it is the impact of Disale’s interventions there are now no teenage marriages in the village.
Disale is also passionate about building peace between young people across conflict zones. His ‘Let’s Cross the Borders’ project connects young people from India and Pakistan, Palestine and Israel, Iraq and Iran and the USA and North Korea. Around 19,000 students from eight countries have joined this six-week programme so far.
The teacher is also known for demonstrating scientific experiments from the science lab he has built in his home. So far, he has taught an incredible 85,000 plus students from over 1400 classrooms in 83 countries via these virtual lessons, according to official numbers from Microsoft.